The Latest: NATO sending planes, ships to back EU migrant op

CALAIS, France (AP) " The Latest on Europe's response to the flow of migrants to the continent (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance has agreed to back the European Union's anti-migrant smuggling operation in the Mediterranean Sea.

Stoltenberg told reporters Thursday that ships and aircraft will be deployed to help within two weeks.

Greece and Turkey will provide ships to help back up the EU's Operation Sophia. Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey are to provide aircraft and Stoltenberg said that other non-NATO countries are considering a role.

The decision came during a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.


The above item has been corrected to show that the deployment will be within two weeks, rather than for two weeks.


11:40 a.m.

Bulldozers have started demolishing the makeshift migrant camp in the French port city of Calais, one day after authorities declared it empty.

Work intensified on Thursday to remove the tents and shelters, shops and restaurants at the site, until recently a sprawling temporary home to thousands of people trying to go to Britain.

French authorities said 5,596 people were evacuated in the complex operation that began Monday. Buses have been transferring migrants to reception centers across the country, where they are to stay for a few months to apply for asylum.

Dozens of migrants could still be seen on Thursday morning on the outskirts of the camp.

Prefect Fabienne Buccio, the state's highest authority in the region, said authorities have stopped processing migrants for transfer to other parts of France.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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